A peer-reviewed journal that offers evidence-based clinical information and continuing education for dentists.

People Living With HIV Struggle to Access Dental Care

A two-part study from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry in Vancouver, Canada, indicates individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encounter difficulties accessing much-needed oral health care.

A two-part study from the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry in Vancouver, Canada, indicates individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encounter difficulties accessing much-needed oral health care.

The study first identified available services for people living with HIV, and concluded only 3% of 104 organizations offered basic dental care. During the second part of the study, 210 participants responded to a questionnaire that looked at unmet oral treatment needs and patterns of dental services utilized by people living with HIV. More than 75% reported untreated dental conditions (bleeding gingiva, dentinal hypersensitivity and caries), with 50% avoiding recommended dental treatment due to cost.

Several additional factors were identified as preventing patients from seeking dental care. These included dental anxiety (66%); discrimination by dental professional (46%); lack of dental insurance (50%); and difficulties with housing, transportation and food (62%).

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